Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A response to Rabbi Malinowitz,

by Rabbi Dov Lipman taken from here

Bio: Rebbi, author, lecturer, and community activist who has been working to help unify and maintain the peace between communities and populations in Bet Shemesh.

My entire community was unfairly, unjustly, wrongly, and irresponsibly accused of something on this post and a response is in order. Because it is right before Rosh Hashana, I will avoid the approach of stinging, personal attacks. I will stick just to the facts.

The communities of Sheinfeld and Nofei Aviv have just experienced one of the most devastating months in their histories with little girls being called "shiksa" and "prutza" by grown men on a daily basis, having to dodge eggs and tomatoes being thrown at them, and having to fear that a bag of human feces could be lobbed into their school yard during any recess. The suggestion was made that all of us are "loving every minute of this" because it enables us to act on our anti-Chareidi feelings.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, much of our devastation comes specifically because we respect the Chareidi community so much!

It is true that we are suffering emotionally and the this emotional damage has expressed itself with little Jewish girls having nightmares, experiencing bed wetting, and waking up with stomach pains. Without in any way belittling that, this is not what has been most devastating to us. Even more devastating has been the spiritual damage!

How has this month hurt our communities spiritually you ask? We have always taught our children embrace all Jews including Chareidim. But children cannot differentiate between the hooligans who are terrorizing them and every other Chareidi they see on the street. When we drive up Nahar Yarden they actually ask: "Are those good guys or bad guys?" Even I have seen children cross to the other side of the street when they see me approaching in my hat and jacket until they realize, as one remarked, "phew, it's just Dov." And, we as adults are also confused. Is it just a small group of 20 guys who come out daily to terrorize the children? But 50 came out just today to swarm one of our grandfathers who was caught in a spontaneous hooligan riot!
400 came out to support the goons last week! Some major Rabbis signed a letter calling us very horrible names. Do their students and congregants who number in the thousands also side with the thugs? No one knows who is what any longer? And this turns us into people who fear and lack trust for fellow Jews, a real spiritual deficiency in our eyes.

Without us as parents saying one negative word, our children have lost that love for all Jews in the last month and now suspect that every Chareidi looking person may hurt them. We have lost the comfort of giving all Chareidim rides and generously giving them tzedaka when they come to our doors.

How dare anyone suggest that we "love every minute of this." This is torture for us as parents and is devastating for our childrens' souls.

Despite all the pain and confusion, we worked so hard to organize a unity rally the other night. During that rally it was emphasized over and over again that this was not anti-Chareidi and specifically against those who were threatening and violent. And yet we are accused of being "anti-Chareidi?" This really is a crazy world where people can convince themselves that black can be white and white can be black.

Our communities have been crying to hear the Chareidi Rabbis say something against these thugs and goons because we so badly WANT to continue loving all Jews as we always have. Hearing those comforting words would reassure us of regarding that which is not so obvious in these dark days and would help give us the strength we need to help our children (and ourselves) through these difficult spiritual times.

But, instead, first we heard the sound of silence, a sound that is more confusing and devastating than the accuser can ever imagine. But following the sound of silence we heard the "explanation" for the silence which was simply painful, hurtful, and false!

On behalf of our communities, I call on the accuser you to please retract that horrific charge against our community and to understand why a letter signed by CHAREIDI Rabbis is so critical. Had he seen the faces of the girls when the righteous, sensitive, caring, and loving CHAREIDI women sent them flowers he would understand how much that letter would mean to the children and
the adults.

May that retraction and, hopefully an apology to the thousands of Jewish people he branded so maliciously and falsely serve as a merit for all of us to be blessed with a year in which Hashem truly does remove all "strife" and "sinat chinam" from our midst.

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